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Adaptation of land-use demands to the impact of climate change on the hydrological processes of an urbanized watershed

The adaptation of land-use patterns is an essential aspect of minimising the impact of climate change at regional and local scales; for example, adapting watershed land-use patterns to mitigate the impact of climate change on a region’s hydrology. The aim of this study is to simulate and assess a region’s ability to adapt to hydrological changes by modifying land-use patterns in the Wu-Du watershed in northern Taiwan. A hydrological GWLF (Generalised Watershed Loading Functions) model is used to simulate three hydrological components – runoff, groundwater and streamflow – based on various land-use scenarios under six global climate models. The study finds that the effects of climate change on groundwater and runoff can be mitigated by modifying current land-use patterns and slowing the rate of urbanisation. Therefore, the study concludes that land-use adaptation on a local/regional scale provides an alternative way to reduce the impacts of climate change on local hydrology.